Neighbourhood Policing teams would like to warn residents about a scam following two distraction burglaries in the Forest of Dean yesterday afternoon.

At around 1pm two men knocked the door of an elderly woman’s home in Lydbrook and discussed work which they said needed to be done to the pipes on her property.

While one man kept the victim talking, the other entered the premises and stole jewellery and hundreds of pounds worth of cash from within.

In a separate and similar incident later that afternoon a woman in her 90s had cash stolen from a purse in her bedroom while a man was talking to her about pipes/guttering work.

One of the offenders is believed to be aged in his 50s and is believed to have left in a dark coloured hatchback type vehicle.

Police are investigating as to whether the incidents are linked and are asking the public to please warn their elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives following these incidents.

There was also an incident in the Tredworth area of Gloucester on Monday afternoon where a woman handed over cash to men who offered to clear the guttering on her property. The offenders left the home with a sum of cash and did not complete the work offered.

Doorstep crimes include distraction thefts where individuals or groups of offenders call on vulnerable homeowners, claiming to be from an organisation, and then steal from them while they’re occupied.

They also include cases of fraud where work is carried out at a home and the victim is vastly overcharged.

Chief Inspector Richard Pegler said: “This type of crime is sporadic, with an area or areas being hit in a short space of time. At present the Forest of Dean and Gloucester have seen incidents reported but as a county we must be aware of this type of crime.

“We haven’t had reports of this type of significance in recent months so please don’t be alarmed as they are not common, but please just be aware of the warning signs.

“Please look out for elderly neighbours and family members. Do not let people you don’t know into your home or agree to services from people you don’t know. If you are concerned then seek help from family or friends and call us.”

Please report any suspicious activity to police by calling 999 if offenders are still in the area or 101 for a non-emergency issue.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident 224 of 15 May (Lydbrook), 308 of 15 May (Coleford) and 348 of 14 May (Gloucester).

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